Saturday, May 31, 2008

Viking Quads 5/31/2008

At today's Viking Quads in Somerset, I drew all three games.

Round One: Dutch Defense

Gerald Bailleau (USCF 2290) - Jim West (USCF 2234), Somerset NJ 5/31/2008

1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qb3 a5 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.Qxc3 O-O 8.g3 b6 9.Bg2 Bb7 10.b4 Ne4 11.Qb2 axb4 12.axb4 Nc6

13.Rxa8 Qxa8 14.O-O Qa4 15.Bf4 Qxb4 16.Qxb4 Nxb4 17.Bxc7 Rc8 18.Bxb6 Rxc4 19.Ne5 Rc2 20.Ba5 Nc6 21.Nxc6 Bxc6 22.Bxe4, draw.

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Round Two: French Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2234) - Steve Stoyko (USCF 2260), Somerset NJ 5/31/2008

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.c3 Bd6 7.O-O Nge7 8.Re1 Qd7 9.Nbd2 h6 10.b4 O-O 11.h3 Bf5 12.Nf1 Rae8 13.Ne3 Bxd3 14.Qxd3 Nd8 15.Bd2 c6

16.Re2 Ne6 17.Nf5 Nxf5 18.Qxf5 Nc5 19.Qxd7 Nxd7 20.Rae1 Rxe2 21.Rxe2 a5 22.a3 Ra8 23.g3 Nb6 24.Kg2 Nc4 25.Bc1 axb4 26.axb4 Kf8 27.Nh4 Ra1 28.Rc2 Ke8 29.Nf5 Bf8 30.Ne3 Nxe3+ 31.Bxe3 Kd7

32.Kf3 f5 33.h4 g6 34.Rc1 Ra3 35.Rc2 Kc7 36.g4 fxg4+ 37.Kxg4 Ra1 38.Rc1 Ra2 39.h5 gxh5+ 40.Kxh5 Kb6 41.Kg6 Kb5 42.Kf7 Bd6 43.Kg6 Bf8 44.Kf7 Ra8 45.Kg6 Kc4 46.Bd2 b5 47.Rh1 Ra2 48.Be1 Kd3 49.Rh3+ Kc2

50.f4 Ra7 51.f5 Rg7+ 52.Kf6 Re7 53.Bf2 Re4 54.Rf3 h5 55.Kf7 Bd6 56.Bg3 Bxg3 57.Rxg3 Rg4 58.Rh3 h4 59.f6 Rg3 60.Rxh4 Kxc3 61.Ke7 Re3+ 62.Kd7 Rf3 63.Kxc6 Kxb4, draw.

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Round Three: French Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2234) - Boris Privman (USCF 2243), Somerset NJ 5/31/2008

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.Bd3 Ne7 6.O-O O-O 7.Re1 Nbc6 8.c3 Bf5 9.Bg5 Qd7 10.Ne5 Qc8 11.Nxc6 Nxc6 12.Bh4 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Qg4 14.Bg3 Bxg3 15.Qxg3 Rae8 16.Nd2 Qxg3 17.hxg3 f6

18.Kf1 Ne7 19.a4 Nf5 20.Rxe8 Rxe8 21.Re1 Rc8 22.g4 Nd6 23.b4 Kf7 24.f3 b6 25.Nb3 Nc4 26.Re2 a5 27.bxa5 bxa5 28.Nc5 Rb8 29.Kf2 Nd6 30.Na6 Rb7 31.Nc5 Rb6

32.Ne6 c6 33.Nd8+ Kf8 34.Ne6+ Kf7 35.Nd8+ Kf8 36.Ne6+ Kf7, draw.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Stranger Than Fiction

Surfing the Web for news on the movie adaptation of Walter Tevis's The Queen's Gambit, I found this article which shows the eerie similarities between Heath Ledger's death by accidental overdose and fictional character Beth Harmon's addiction to prescription drugs.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bartell Simul in Kenilworth

Tonight, at 8:30, FIDE master and former NJ state champion Tommy Bartell will give a simultaneous exhibition at the Kenilworth Chess Club.

Earlier this month, at the 11th North American FIDE Invitational in Chicago, Bartell narrowly missed making an IM norm when he was upset in the final round. Michael Goeller at The Kenilworthian has analyzed a couple of Bartell's wins from the tournament.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Here are a couple of Philidor Counter Gambits, filled with mistakes, from the Internet Chess Club. In the first game, according to Fritz8, Black should have countered 11.Nc3 by playing 11...g6, prepared to answer 12.Nxd5 (12.Nxb5 Na6=) with 12...Qe5 13.Nf4 Nc6 14.Nxe6 Qxe6=. The second game is completely winning for Black after 6...Kxf7 until he loses his queen on move 18.

[Event "ICC 5 0 u"] [Site "Internet Chess Club"] [Date "2008.01.11"] [White "timhortonsknigt"] [Black "rodent"] [Result "0-1"] [ICCResult "White forfeits on time"] [WhiteElo "1588"] [BlackElo "2139"] [Opening "Philidor: Philidor counter-gambit, del Rio attack"] [ECO "C41"] [NIC "KP.08"] [Time "01:45:57"] [TimeControl "300+0"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 f5 4. dxe5 fxe4 5. Ng5 d5 6. e6 Bc5 7. Nf7 Qf6 8. Bb5+ c6 9. O-O cxb5 10. Nxh8 Bxe6 11. Nc3 Nc6 12. Nxd5 Bxd5 13. Qxd5 Nge7 14. Qxc5 O-O-O 15. Be3 Rd5 16. Qa3 b4 17. Qb3 a5 18. a4 g5 19. c4 Rd3 20. Qc2 Nf5 21. Rad1 Ncd4 22. Bxd4 Nxd4 23. Qb1 Ne2+ 24. Kh1 Rh3 25. Qxe4 Rxh2+ 26. Kxh2 Qf4+ 27. Qxf4 Nxf4, White forfeits.

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[Event "ICC 5 0 u"][Site "Internet Chess Club"][Date "2008.03.07"][Round "-"][White "timhortonsknigt"][Black "rodent"][Result "1-0"][ICCResult "Black resigns"][WhiteElo "1594"][BlackElo "2139"][Opening "Philidor: Philidor counter-gambit"][ECO "C41"][NIC "KP.08"][Time "01:09:22"][TimeControl "300+0"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 f5 4. dxe5 fxe4 5. Ng5 d5 6. Nf7 Kxf7 7. Qh5+ g6 8.Qe2 Nc6 9. Nc3 Nxe5 10. Be3 Bg4 11. f3 exf3 12. gxf3 Nxf3+ 13. Kf2 d4 14.Rd1 Qh4+ 15. Kg2 Qh3+ 16. Kf2 dxe3+ 17. Qxe3 Bd6 18. Bxh3 Bxh3 19. Qxf3+ Bf520. Qd5+ Kg7 21. Qd4+ Nf6 22. Nd5 Rhf8 23. Nxf6 Rxf6 24. Rhe1 Bxc2+ 25. Kg2 Bxd1 26. Qxd1 Raf8 27. Qd4 Kg8 28. Qd5+ R8f7 29. Qxb7 Rf2+ 30. Kg1 Rxh2 31.Rf1 Rh1+ 32. Qxh1 Bc5+ 33. Kg2, Black resigns.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

PCG in "Daily Telegraph"

At first, I thought it was an April Fools joke, one day in advance. But on March 31st, the Daily Telegraph printed a 9-move loss in the Philidor Counter Gambit by a player with a USCF rating of 1428! Needless to say, his winning opponent was much higher rated at 1950. But the chess column makes no mention of their ratings. The game was played in the third round of the USATE 2008.

Black was overly concerned about Ng5, in playing 4...Be7 and 5...h6. The correct way to meet this threat is by 4...c6 and 5...Nf6, prepared to answer Ng5 by ...d5. White missed a quicker win by 9.Be6#.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pix from NY May Open

These are some photos from yesterday's New York May Open at the Marshall Chess Club.

Here Ed Kopiecki plays against his first round opponent in the under 2000 section.

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Between rounds, players analyzed their games in the upstairs room.

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In the last round, Jay Bonin and Yefim Treger drew their game on board three. Meanwhile, grandmasters Alexander Stripunsky and Michael Rohde were victorious on boards one and two.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Marshall Chess Club Swiss 5/25/2008

Playing in the one day schedule, I finished with a score of 1-1-2 in a Swiss tournament at the Marshall Chess Club today.

In the second round, with a time control of game/30, I blundered a pawn. After some inexact play by my opponent, I obtained a winning position but claimed a draw because of time shortage.

Round Two: King's Indian Defense, Panno Variation

Boris Privman (USCF 2243) - Jim West (USCF 2234), Marshall Chess Club 5/25/2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.Nf3 O-O 5.O-O d6 6.c4 Nc6 7.d5 Na5 8.Na3 c5 9.Re1 a6 10.e4 e5 11.dxe6 Bxe6 12.Qd3 Nc6 13.Rb1 Nb4 14.Qb3 Qc7 15.Bd2 Nc6 16.Ng5 Nd4

17.Nxe6 Nxb3 18.Nxc7 Nxd2 19.Rbd1 Rac8 20.Rxd2 Rxc7 21.Rxd6 Ng4 22.Rd2 Bd4 23.h3 Ne5 24.Kf1 Nc6 25.Nb1 b5 26.cxb5 axb5 27.Nc3 Rb8 28.Nd5 Ra7 29.a3 Ne5 30.Rb1 Nc4 31.Rc2 Kg7 32.Bf3 Re8

33.a4 Ne5 34.Be2 bxa4 35.f4 Nd7 36.e5 Rb8 37.Bg4 a3 38.Bxd7 Rxd7 39.Nc3 axb2 40.Ke2 Rb3 41.Nd1 Rxg3 42.Rcxb2 Rg2+ 43.Kf3 Rxb2 44.Nxb2 Rb7 45.Ke4 Rxb2 46.Rc1 Rh2 47.Rb1 Rxh3 48.Rb7 h5 49.Kd5, draw.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Benko Lecture at Marshall CC

At 7:30 on Tuesday evening, May 27th, GM Pal Benko will lecture at the Marshall Chess Club on The Art and Science of the Endgame.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Shulman Wins 2008 U.S. Championship

With this 11-move draw, GM Yury Shulman won the 2008 United States Championship.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kaufman - Ippolito

This is a game between two international masters - Larry Kaufman of Maryland and Dean Ippolito of New Jersey - from the 8th round of the 2008 United States Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was played on Tuesday, May 20th, and won by Ippolito in 82 moves.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

2008 US Championship Update

Here is an update on the 2008 United States Championship which is being held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Valvo's Line @

At Jim West Talks Chess, I have posted a couple of my wins using Mike Valvo's line in the Sozin Attack against the Sicilian Najdorf.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Morphy's PCG Games

Not counting a couple of consultation games, Paul Morphy played the Philidor Counter Gambit on three occasions. His record with the PCG was 2 wins and 1 draw in individual contests, and 1 win and 1 draw in consultation games.

Here are Morphy's wins against Barnes and Bird, as well as his draw against Boden.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pix from Hamilton Quads

Here are some photos that I snapped at yesterday's quads in Hamilton.

Ed Sytnik directed the tournament.

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In the top quad, Dragan Milovanovic and Mark Kernighan drew their game in the second round.

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At the same time, Rahul Swaminathan pondered his next move in quad two.

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Meanwhile, the lower quads were being held in the next room.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hamilton Quads 5/17/2008

Today's quad in Hamilton ended with an even score for me at 1-1-1. These were my better games.

Round Two: Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

Jim West (USCF 2234) - Daniel Yeager (USCF 2347), Hamilton NJ 5/17/2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Be3 O-O 10.f4 b4 11.Na4 Bb7 12.e5 dxe5 13.Nxe6 fxe6 14.Bxe6+ Kh8 15.Qxd8 Rxd8 16.fxe5 Ne4 17.Nb6 Nc6 18.Nxa8 Bxa8

19.Rad1 Rxd1 20.Rxd1 Nxe5 21.Bd5 Bxd5 22.Rxd5 Nc6 23.Rd7 Bd6 24.Rb7 h6 25.Rb6 Ne5 26.Rxa6 Ng4 27.Bd4 Bxh2+ 28.Kf1 Ng3+ 29.Ke1 Nf5 30.Bc5 Nge3 31.Bxe3 Nxe3 32.Kf2 Nd1+ 33.Kf3 Bg1 34.a3 bxa3 35.bxa3 h5

36.a4 Kh7 37.Rc6 g5 38.a5 g4+ 39.Ke2 Ne3 40.a6 Nd5 41.c4 Nb4 42.Rc7+ Kg6 43.a7 Bxa7 44.Rxa7 h4 45.Kd2 h3 46.gxh3 gxh3 47.Ra3, Black resigns.

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Round Three: French Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2234) - Mark Kernighan (USCF 2208), Hamilton NJ 5/17/2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d3 Nf6 6.d4 d5 7.Bd3 Bg4 8.O-O Be7 9.Re1 O-O 10.Bg5 Re8 11.Nbd2 Nbd7 12.c3 c6 13.Qc2 h6 14.Bh4 Bd6 15.Rxe8+ Qxe8 16.Re1 Qb8 17.Bf5 Qc7

18.Bg3 Bxf5 19.Qxf5 Bxg3 20.hxg3 Re8 21.Rxe8+ Nxe8 22.g4 g6 23.Qd3 Qf4 24.Qe2 Kf8 25.Ne1 Ndf6 26.f3 Nd7 27.Nd3 Qg5 28.Nb3 Nd6 29.Nbc5 Nxc5 30.Nxc5 Qe7 31.Qxe7+ Kxe7 32.Kf2 Nc4 33.b3 Nd6 34.a4 b6 35.Nd3 f6 36.Nf4 Kf7

37.Ke3 Nb7 38.Kd3 Nd8 39.c4 Ne6 40.Ne2 Ke7 41.f4 Kd6 42.g3 a6 43.cxd5 cxd5 44.Nc3 Ng7 45.Ne2 Ke6 46.Ke3 Ne8 47.Nc3 Nd6 48.Kf3 f5 49.gxf5+ Nxf5 50.Ne3 a5 51.g4 Nd6

52.f5+ gxf5 53.Nf4+ Kd7 54.Nxd5 fxg4+ 55.Kxg4 Kc6 56.Ne7+ Kd7 57.Nd5 Kc6 58.Ne7+ Kd7, draw.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Averbakh Lecture at Marshall CC

On Monday evening, May 19th, grandmaster Yuri Averbakh will give a lecture at the historic Marshall Chess Club in Greenwich Village.

Here is Averbakh's only game against Bobby Fischer, ending in an early draw even though Black appears to have an advantage in the final position after 21...Rae8.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Asa Hoffmann on "YouTube"

Players in New Jersey sometimes ask me questions about Asa Hoffmann, along the lines of "Does Asa still play chess?" and "What is your lifetime score against Asa?", probably because Hoffmann included one of his games against me in his book Chess Gladiator.

For those of you who never met him, here is a brief video on Asa Hoffmann.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cavett on "Imus in the Morning"

On February 14th, Dick Cavett appeared on the radio program Imus in the Morning where he talked about Bobby Fischer and Roger Clemens. Here are parts one, two, and three.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Morphy's Game in Hoboken

Hoboken, New Jersey, is famous for being the hometown of Frank Sinatra. According to legend, the first baseball game was played in Hoboken.

But you probably did not know that Paul Morphy once visited Hoboken, where he lost a game of chess as Black against a consultation team of three players. This story and more can be found at the website of the Hoboken Chess Club.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pix from ICA Spring 2008 Open

Here are a few photos from yesterday's ICA Spring 2008 Open, run by the International Chess Academy.

The tournament took place at Bergen County Academies in Hackensack NJ.

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Between rounds, there was time for speed chess.

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This photo shows third round play.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

ICA Spring 2008 Open

At today's ICA Spring 2008 Open in Hackensack, I won these two games.

Round One: Philidor Counter Gambit

Austin Wang (USCF 1842) - Jim West (USCF 2234), Hackensack NJ 5/11/2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.dxe5 fxe4 5.Ng5 d5 6.e6 Bc5 7.Nxe4 Be7 8.Ng5 Bxg5 9.Qh5+ g6 10.Qxg5 Qxg5 11.Bxg5 c6 12.Nc3 Bxe6 13.O-O-O Nd7 14.Ne2 Ngf6 15.Nd4 Kf7 16.Bd3 Rhe8

17.Rde1 Nc5 18.Nxe6 Nxd3+ 19.cxd3 Rxe6 20.Rxe6 Kxe6 21.Re1+ Kf5 22.Bh4 Re8 23.Rxe8 Nxe8 24.Kd2 d4 25.Bg3 Ke6 26.Ke2 Kd5 27.Bh4 Ng7 28.Bg5 Ne6 29.Bd2 c5 30.g3 c4 31.dxc4+ Kxc4 32.b3+ Kd5 33.f3 Nc5 34.Bb4 Nd7

35.h3 Ne5 36.h4 h5 37.Bd2 b5 38.a3 a6 39.Bb4 Nc6 40.Bd2 a5 41.Bf4 a4 42.bxa4 bxa4 43.Kd3 Na5 44.Bh6 Nb7 45.Bf8 Nd8 46.Be7 Ne6 47.Bf6 Nc5+ 48.Kd2 Kc4 49.Bg5 Nb3+ 50.Kd1 Kd3

51.g4 Nc5 52.gxh5 gxh5 53.Bf6 Ne6 54.Be5 Ke3 55.Kc2 d3+ 56.Kd1 Kxf3 57.Kd2 Ke4 58.Bd6 Nd4 59.Bb4 Nf3+ 60.Kd1 Nxh4 61.Be7 Nf3 62.Bd8 h4, White resigns.

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Round Two: French Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2234) - Frank Romano (USCF 1926), Hackensack NJ 5/11/2008

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.Bd3 Ne7 6.O-O Bf5 7.Bxf5 Nxf5 8.Re1+ Ne7 9.Qd3 O-O 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bh4 Ng6 12.Bg3 Bxg3 13.hxg3 Nc6 14.c3 Nce7 15.Nbd2 Qd7 16.Re2 Rae8 17.Rae1 Nc8 18.Kf1 Nd6

19.b3 Rxe2 20.Rxe2 Re8 21.c4 Rxe2 22.Qxe2 c6 23.c5 Nb5 24.Qd3 Qg4 25.b4 a6 26.a4 Nc7 27.Nb3 Qd7 28.Na5 Ne6 29.Qf5 Ngf8 30.g4 Nd8 31.Qxd7 Nxd7 32.Ke2 Kf7 33.Kd3 b6 34.Nb3 bxc5 35.bxc5 Nb7 36.a5 Ke6 37.g3 Kf7 38.Nh4 g6 39.f4 Ke6 40.f5+ Kf7 41.fxg6 hxg6 42.Ng2 f5 43.g5 Nf8 44.Nh4 Nd7 45.Kc3 Nd8 46.Nc1 Ne6 47.Nf3 Nd8 48.Nd3 Nb7

49.Nfe5+ Nxe5 50.Nxe5+ Ke6 51.Nxc6 f4 52.gxf4 Kf5 53.Ne7+ Kxf4 54.Nxg6+ Kxg5 55.Ne7 Nxa5 56.Nxd5 Kf5 57.Nb4 Ke6 58.d5+ Kd7 59.Nxa6 Nb7 60.c6+, Black resigns.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

E-mail from "Diamondback"

On Thursday, I received this e-mail from Diamondback:

Subject: Greg Nolan's Upset
Mr. West:
Can you please post on your chess blog the upset win of Greg Nolan over Leroy Dubeck that took place at the recent Asian American Chess Classic? I am curious what decisive advantage took place during that game and if Leroy Dubeck had some type of counterplay to prevent his loss.
Thank you.

Sorry, I do not have the score of Dubeck-Nolan, Asian American Chess Classic 2008. But when I snapped my photo of their endgame, I noticed that material was even, with both players having three pawns and two minor pieces.

Unfortunately for Dubeck, he had these disadvantages: (1) Nolan had a bishop and knight versus Dubeck's two knights; (2) Nolan had two unconnected passed pawns on the queenside, while only one of Dubeck's three pawns on the kingside was passed and not as far advanced as Nolan's d-pawn; (3) Dubeck's knights were on the kingside, unable to aid his king in stopping Nolan's passers.

How this position arose is unknown to me.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Polyakin - Smith

Here is IM Bryan Smith's last round win against Vladimir Polyakin, from last Sunday's Asian-American Chess Classic in Somerset. It is a good example of Smith's tactical style.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ferrero - Lankri

In the final round of the Asian-American Chess Classic, Atlantic Chess News editor Steve Ferrero won his game against Etan Lankri, enabling Ferrero to tie with four other players (including myself) for 7th-8th place prize money. All notes are by Steve Ferrero.

Round Five: Larsen's Opening

Steve Ferrero (USCF 1871) - Etan Lankri (USCF 1674), Somerset NJ 5/4/2008

1.b3 e5 2.Bb2 d6 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.e3 Nc6 6.Ne2 O-O 7.d4 Bf5

Here, my opponent offered a pawn sacrifice, if I captured on c6 first, then won the central pawn. But I would have been painfully weak on the white squares on my kingside and underdeveloped. Still, for a class B player to even contemplate such a sacrifice was a bit unnerving for me.


This move prepares c4, without permitting the black knight to redeploy to b4 then d3.

8...exd4 9.Nxd4 Be4 10.Bxe4 Nxe4 11.Nxc6

These doubled pawns, that I saddle Black with, remain the primary focal point of White's attack throughout the rest of the game, even as we eventually head into an ending.

11...bxc6 12.O-O Bf6 13.Bxf6 Qxf6 14.Qd4 Qxd4 15.exd4 Rfe8


I played this move to allow the white king to get to f2 and to prevent any black rook incursion, until White can develop the queen knight to get the rooks connected.


I indicated to Etan, after our game, that 16...Ng5 would have posed more concern since he would have retained annoying checks on h3 and would remain attacking the f3 pawn, preventing White from liquidating the rooks on e1.

17.Kf2 Re7 18.Nd2 Rae8 19.Rae1 Nd5 20.Nc4 Nc3

I had already come to the realization that I should never have allowed the black knight to post onto d5 before I could get my pawn on a4. Black is threatening the powerful 21...Re2+. Yet if White trades off all the rooks, even though the white king ends up on e1 at the conclusion of the exchanges, Black's knight redeploys to b5 with dual threats on the hanging a3 and d4 pawns. Therefore, I play for tricks and re-post the white knight on f5, only temporarily, holding my loose d-pawn and relying on the sham threat of Ne7+ and Nxc6. However, if Black simply swaps the rooks off and first chops on a3, all of the white pawns fall like a house of cards. This is Black's most critical mistake, in fearing my Ne7+.

21.Ne3 Nb5 22.Nf5 Rxe1 23.Rxe1 Rxe1 24.Kxe1 Kf8

must be near winning for Black.

25.a4 Nc3 26.Kd2 Nd5 27.c4

This may have been a bit hasty, or an outright error, since Black later should have brought his knight from b4 to a2 and back again with continuous checks to secure a draw as I pointed out to Etan after the game. I contemplated getting my knight back to c2 to trade off the black knight but assessed that, although White would probably retain some slight advantages due to the compromised black queenside pawn structure, it likely wouldn't be enough to win. I'm uncertain if my assessment is correct, however.

27...Nb4 28.h4 g6 29.Ne3 Ke7 30.g4 h6 31.Kc3 a5 32.d5 c5 33.f4 h5 34.f5 Kf6 35.g5+ Ke5 36.f6 Kf4 37.Kd2 Kg3 38.Nf5+

Etan indicated, during the post mortem analysis, that he missed this powerful shot.

38...Kg4 39.Nh6+ Kxh4 40.Nxf7 Na6

The black knight is hoping to get back in time to stop White's passer, moving quickly on the f-file.


Not if I can help it! Black cannot afford the luxury of capturing White's knight, if he is to have any hope of stopping White's passer, which makes this combination possible.

41...Nb8 42.Ne4 Nd7 43.f7 Kh3 44.Nxc5 Nf8 45.Ne6 Kg2 46.Nxf8 h4 47.Nxg6 h3 48.Nf4+, Black resigns.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sivakumar - Bartell

The following game was the biggest upset at the Asian-American Chess Classic, earning 5 cents per rating points differential for the winner. Obviously 48...Qc2??, overlooking 49.Qg4+ fxg4+ 50.fxg4#, is the type of blunder that can occur in game/30 chess.

Round One: Sicilian Defense, Grand Prix Attack

Kavinayan Sivakumar (USCF 1834) - Tommy Bartell (USCF 2427), Somerset NJ 5/4/2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.f4 Bg7 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bb5 Nd4 6.O-O Nxb5 7.Nxb5 d5 8.exd5 a6 9.Nc3 Nf6 10.d4 c4 11.Qe2 b5 12.Re1 O-O 13.Qxe7 Bf5 14.Qe2 Re8 15.Ne5 Nxd5 16 Nxd5 Qxd5

17.Qf2 f6 18.Nf3 Rxe1+ 19.Nxe1 Re8 20.Bd2 Bg4 21.Nf3 Bxf3 22.gxf3 f5 23.c3 Kf7 24.Kg2 a5 25.Re1 Rb8 26.Qh4 Qd7 27.Qf2 Rb7 28.a3 Bf6 29.h4 Qd8 30.Kh3 Re7 31.Rxe7+ Kxe7 32.Qe3+ Kf7

33.Be1 Qd5 34.Kg3 Qd8 35.Kh3 Qd7 36.Kg3 Kg7 37.Qe2 Kh6 38.Qe3 Kh5 39.Kh3 Qd8 40.Qf2 Qe7 41.Qg3 Qe2 42.Qf2 Qd3 43.Qg3 b4 44.axb4 axb4 45.Qf2 b3 46.Qg3 h6 47.Qf2 Be7 48.Qg2 Qc2 49.Qg4+, Black resigns.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

No More "ChessDown"

For about ten days, I was calling it ChessDown. All the chess diagrams had disappeared from my blog. Apparently it was a problem with their registration. But I am happy to report today that the ChessUp website is...well, up again.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pix from Asian-American Chess Classic

Here are photos from yesterday's grand prix and scholastic events at the Asian-American Chess Classic, held at the Ramada Somerset.

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Assistant TD Aaron Kiedes accepts IM Bryan Smith's entry fee.

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Seated at the table, clockwise, are Greg Nolan, Tommy Bartell, Leroy Dubeck, and Boris Privman, with TD Ken Thomas standing.

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Two guys named Steve - Stoyko and Ferrero - chat in the corridor.

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Ken Thomas also directed the scholastic event, as can be seen in these two photos.

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Yefim Treger plays Etan Lankri in an early round.

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GM Michael Rohde was one of four players to tie for first place, with a score of 4 points.

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Boris Privman and Yefim Treger do a post mortem analysis.

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In the final round, with Michael Rohde and Sergey Kudrin having already drawn their game on board one, Bryan Smith beats Vladimir Polyakin on board two, while Boris Privman defeats Tommy Bartell on board three. Steve Stoyko, who did not participate in the tournament, stands as a spectator.

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Meanwhile, Greg Nolan upsets Leroy Dubeck.

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TD Ken Thomas prepares to distribute the prize money.